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charge for a driveway.. gravel.. maybe 100ft long?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by BushHogBoy, Dec 2, 2000.

  1. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Hey guys (and gals???) :
    What is a decent price for a neihbors 100ft? long gravel driveway with a very small parking area at the back? it is very worn out and so in the middle there is a big hump covered with grass from where the tires have not been.. i will be plowing it with my garden tractor and would like to know what is a good price to ask? the hump will make it harder to plow, i would think... any suggestions as to how to plow it with the hump? it is a one car width drive.
    Thanks a lot,
    Eric
     
  2. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    That hump in the center will make it next to impossible to plow, at least with a truck. You'd have to "skim" it, with the blade a few inches off the ground. Now, with a smaller blade, like on your tractor, you could straddle a rut on each side. The blade should ride on a high side of each rut. It will leave snow in the tire rut, but at least it won't bite into the center "crown" like a truck plow would.
    Any driveway with a center "crown" isn't easy to plow. I won't take on any driveways in this condition, thay take waaaaaaay too long to plow, and it's next to impossible to do a good job clearing them.


    ~Chuck
     
  3. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Chuck and all, I am doing this drive for the neighbors because they are elderly and can't do it and i like to be nice and i'll have fun doing it... i don't have a full time job. i am 13 yrs old.. i could probly get a job working for a grounds main. crew, but they'd have to come get me all the time and take me home. I like that sort of thing a lot and am careful about it and like it so they'd hire me i think, it's just a matter of transportation... the neighbors they pay me to mow their grass and get up the leaves, so i am sure they'd pay me to get the snow outta the way... they pay me $20 a chop for the grass... once a week with their mower and gas and $20 a chop for the leaves with my rig... What about snow with my rig? I am working on a V-plow that will hinge in the middle and be able to lock into position, so i can angle it all directions, and maybe that'll be easier to plow the drive with.... oh, well, we'll see how it goes.. I would'nt be surprised if they offer me $10 or $15 for the snow in the driveway.. we usually only get 3-6" inches at a time here, early morning, say 4 or 5 o'clock, and then it warms up and it gets liquidy and then at nite time, it freezes into ice, then early morning it snows again and the process goes on.. we're in IN, so it's not fierce Blizzards or anything... our snow is wet usually anyway and so is always pretty heavy.. sometimes it'll snow in the afternoon too. hardly ever get the dry fluffy stuff.. so what is a good charge for a driveway like that? Sory for rambling..
    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  4. SCL

    SCL Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Bush Hog,
    Sounds like your on your way into the landscaping biz starting like so manty of us did. Here's a thought. Since these folks are your neighbors and are elderly, I would think about taking what they offer. I'm making assumptions that you personally don't have alot invested in equipment and it won't take more than an hour to plow. Take out the gas money and you make $10. for an hour. Not bad for an hour and you'll be furthering you reputation as a kind and fair businessman for the future.
     
  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    SCL,the only problem is you havent figured in for wear and tear,maintance,etc and who's going to fix the plow when it breaks?This is how new businesses quickly become extinct.It is costing you money doing it for 10 and hr+fuel.If he were a bigger,profitable operation,then it wouldnt be a big deal to do this as his way of giving back to the neighborhood.If he's just playing around for fun thats different,but if he's trying to make a profit,and who can live on nothing,this is not a good idea.The next thing you know they'll call all there old friends and they ll want him to do there drives for $10.
     
  6. SCL

    SCL Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    John,
    I digress, you are exactly right on the tell all your friends kind of pricing. But a hard part of this business is the difference in pricing from job to job. And you are also correct on the failure aspects of new business. If you look at it from a purely labor rate aspect, we charge $50 an hour for tractor work and $55 an hour for skidloader work regardless of moving dirt or snow. Maybe $25 or $30 for this job might be more in line.
     
  7. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Hey guys, i am doing this for kindness, and i don't do any other drives than mine and my neighbors and i don't advertise myself for business either... i am 13 yrs old...and don't have a trailer or any transportation anyway... so no cigar.... If my stuff breaks, i'll fix it.. i'll take what they offer, i gues.. i was just trying to figure out if they were going to offer too much... they are pretty generous with their money... or it might be standard or less with you guys' standards.. but you have a big business to run... i'm just doing it for lack of something else to do and i like it... thanks again....
    Eric
     
  8. HandyHaver

    HandyHaver Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    Eric,

    You sound like a good neighbor for these people to have.
    If they give you what seems to be a generous amount for this job, TAKE IT!! They wouldn't offer it if they didn't want you to have it. I'm sure they can afford it and appreciate having you next door to take care of their needs.
    It all evens out some where down the line. Keep up the good work. Good luck!!

    Mark
     
  9. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Thanks Mark.. what i mean is, they aren't going to give just $5 for cutting the grass... they are quite reasonable about it... you're right about it being even later...
    Eric
     
  10. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    So, if your neighbor offered you $2 you'd plow their driveway? You should get a little more than $10 to plow a driveway, i get $25 for a 30' driveway, and that's older people. If you charge low like someone said, they'll tell all their friends and you'll end up putting a professional out of work because you low-balled it.

    Bryan
     
  11. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    No, NO, NO, that's not what i mean... first of all, they wouldn't do any good to tell their freinds, because i don't have a trailer and we're on a highway 2miles from town... second, i wouldn't take $2 and they wouldn't offer it... what i mean is, they DON'T just offer $5 to cut the grass, they'll give me $20 for that with their mower and gas... they are pretty reasonable about it, they have good judgement as to what is a good price... i feel they'll offer at least $15 , depending on the depth of the snow and the length of time it takes... But i do do it for kindness and i like to and don't have anything better to do... i am only 13 remember....
    Eric
     
  12. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    what does your age matter? i'm 15 and have been doing driveways since i was 10. I've done it to make money, not as an act of kindness. all my neighbors can afford my services so i do not see a need to low-ball prices to get their business. If they are not satisfied with my work i will go back and fix it. also, why is your life bush hog tractors?


    Bryan
     
  13. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Bryan,
    Since they're the only people i can get to, i can't really make it a business... and i see no reason to be greedy when they offer me a good pay for it anyway... my neighbors can afford it, thats not why i am doing it for kindness, i just like to help out where i can... and since i make money doing it, it's all the sweeter... Now for the question: "why is my life Bush Hog tractors?" Well, lets see.. we have had it for nearly 10 years and i have gotten it handed down to me kinda so to speak and i love it... they are very rare....i take care of it, but it earns its keep.. i wouldn't throw it out if it didn't, but it's worth having.... but like i said, i love that old thing... it's about 35 years old, yet runs like a top, except the engine was replaced before we bought it, why i don't know, and then i wore this engine out and so i'm getting another for it....But i've come to love it.. when it needs worked on, i might get frustrated or mad at it, but then later its all right... sounds crazy to love a garden tractor, but i do... i don't kiss it good night or anything, but you know....
    since i don't live in town, but on a highway, it is very inconvenient for me to do snow and lawns and leaves and gardens, but i'd rather be here than in town for other reasons... i like privacy and there is more room to play with my tractor here and things.. i get paid to "keep" our grounds and garden and leaves here on our 2 acres... there is a small community that doesn't have a store or post office or anything, but has a large church and lots of houses and it is no more than a 1/4 mile down the road...they could use a snowplower there, but my parents wouldn't let me on the highway with a gardentractor to get there.. and we don't have a trailer... sorry for rambling,

    Eric
     
  14. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 256

    Bushhogboy, poleesse charge whatever you want to charge since you are obviously not interested in the good advise given to you hear. Seems to me that you just want to hear praise for helping these elderly people and are not interested in a fair market price. So why ask the question at all?
     
  15. Doug406

    Doug406 Member
    Messages: 65

    GROW UP EVERYBODY

    GET OFF THE KIDS BACK!!!!!!

    MAYBE HE IS JUST ASKING A GENERAL PRICE QUESTION SO THE PEOPLE DO NOT OVERPAY HIM. SOME OF YOU GUYS SEEM LIKE MONEY IS ALL THAT MATTERS. HE IS DOING A FAVOR FOR THE PEOPLE, SO WHY ARE YOU KNOCKING IT? IS IT SOMETHING PERSONAL? I ENJOY THE BUISINESS, I LOVE WHAT I DO, AND THAT IS WHAT GETS ME OUT OF BED EACH DAY.

    NOTE:LEARN FROM YOUTH.
     
  16. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Well said. Why do you guys worry about lowballing, all he has is a garden tractor. It's not like he has 16 plows trucks and is plowing drives for 5 dollars, and has no insurance. I bet he is not the only one his age opperating with out insurance around here. I could pick on all the guys that charge full price, but don't have to buy insurance, thats worse than lowballing. It's worse because you are getting the same amount of money as a insured contractor, but the uninsured contractor puts his customer at risk all winter, and doesn't even give the customer a break for have the customer assume the risk.

    There is nothing wrong with a kid helping someone out. I know that most guys in this forum, runs their company with the proper insurance. Lets just not pick on someone who is doing something nice for someone else, after all it is the x-mass season. I mean how much of a bother is a kid running around with a garden tractor doing 3 or 4 drives, to the whole snow industry. There are always going to be kids out their shoveling drives for 5 or 10 dollars, why worry about it, why make a stink about it, and isn't it really going to bother you that much? I mean you can't take all your money to your final resting place. If someone can show me that all the kids out their doing snow with shovels, dad's snowblower, and a garden tractor, are really a serious threat to their biz, I will take back everything I said. However I think these kids take the jobs we don't want to take, so that actually helps me.

    Geoff
     
  17. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Thanks Geoff... you hit it right on.. what i WAS asking was "are they overpaying?" i didn't dream people'd charge $50 an hour just to use a tractor to move snow or dirt or whatever.. i don't care a lot, but i wasn't going to charge it, i mean if i do their grass for $20 and then ask $50 for the driveway, somethings a little off, don't you think?
    Eric P.S. lets just drop it here before there's more trouble...
     
  18. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Also thanks to Doug...
    Eric
     
  19. SCL

    SCL Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Doug and Geoff hit this one right on the head. My hats off to a kid who will toss aside the Playstation control and go out to make a few bucks on a cold snowy day and help his neighbors at the same time.
     
  20. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I commend him too,but I just didnt want him to be taken advantage of,and beings he needs a motor now,he could use all the money he can get.MY brother in laws are 19 now,but when they were 12-16 they cleaned house in there developement shoveling driveways for the neighbors.They got 10-20 a driveway,they are all blacktop,50 ft long max and 12 ft wide.They used the money for there first car.Since Bushhog boy lives on a highway,he's going to need wheels,so if he can get $$$close to what the jobs worth,its that much less he'll need to get his first ride.In the 3 yrs he has,til he's 16 he can make enough to get a nice used car/small pickup.I think its great that he is self motivated enough to get off the couch,most 13 yr olds wont shut off the playstation long enough to shovel there own drive anymore.